DTM: Robert Wickens shrugs off technical problems in Moscow.
Hard-won fifth place.
Hard-won fifth place for Mercedes-AMG DTM driver Robert Wickens (SILBERPFEIL Energy Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) in Sunday’s race in Moscow. The winner of the first race on Saturday was on course to finish on the podium for quite a long time until he dropped back down to fifth place with damage to aerodynamics and complete loss of power steering. He strongly defended P5 to the finish line, putting up a real fight, and successfully fended off an attack by Edoardo Mortara (Audi) in the last corner of the race. As a result, the Canadian is still in second place in the drivers’ standings after twelve races. Now on 118 points, Wickens is twelve points down on the leader, Marco Wittmann (BMW). Lucas Auer (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) finished the race in tenth place and also scored points. His Mercedes-AMG DTM team-mate Daniel Juncadella (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM) was in sixth place behind Wickens until the final lap and did a sterling job for the team of protecting his fellow Mercedes-AMG driver from attack. However, He dropped back down into P12 with a gearbox problem.
All the remaining Mercedes-AMG DTM drivers took the chequered flag: Christian Vietoris (BWT Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM, P14), Maximilian Götz (Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM, P16), Gary Paffett (EURONICS Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM, P18), Paul Di Resta (Mercedes -AMG C 63 DTM, P20) and Felix Rosenqvist (FREE MEN'S WORLD Mercedes-AMG C 63 DTM, P21). Four Mercedes-AMG DTM drivers reached minor milestones on Sunday in Moscow: Christian Vietoris notched up his 70th DTM race, Robert Wickens his 60th, Daniel Juncadella his 50th and Maximilian Götz his 30th.
Robert Wickens, P5: “That was a bittersweet race from my perspective. I was third behind Blomqvist for quite a time but then ran into problems with the power steering on Lap 8. It gradually got harder to steer and I could feel vibrations as well. And then I completely lost power steering around Lap 10 or 12. I really had to fight after that. Plus, my car suffered damage in a contact with Martin Tomczyk after my pit stop. He braked deliberately on the straight and in places where you shouldn't in a bid to hold me up. I tried to overtake him on the outside, but he didn't steer into the turn and carried straight on. The resulting damage cost me more lap time than the problems with the steering.
It was really hard to keep out of the way of other drivers without power steering and with less downforce than normal. But still, I can be pleased in the end, since at times, I didn't think I would make it to the finish line. Dani is the man of the race for me. I can't thank him enough for his support. But for him, I wouldn't have been in the points. I realised that it would be really close as I scrapped with Edoardo Mortara in the last turn, but I have the greatest respect for him. We used to race against each other in Formula 3, and I've known him for a long time. Our battles with one another have always been very clean.”
Lucas Auer, P10: “That was a tough race. But tenth in qualifying, tenth in the race and at the same time second-best Mercedes driver? That will do for me on a day like this. Compared to yesterday, I’ve made a considerable step up. It wasn’t a hundred percent our weekend, though. But if I can take points from a weekend which wasn’t totally satisfactory, I have to feel a bit happy about that. We now need to work hard so that, at the Nürburgring, we’ll be competing with the front-runners again.”
Daniel Juncadella, P12: “All in all, that was a good day for me. For once, I had a normal qualifying without incidents or problems. In the race itself, I got off to a good start but was unable to improve my situation further. In the first stint, I was driving behind Bruno who I’d been unable to pass on the first lap. Unfortunately, Robert then had a problem and I tried to defend him, because he was really struggling with his car.
In the end, I finished outside the points, but in a team you just have to stick together when it’s a battle for the title.”
Christian Vietoris, P14: “Unfortunately, that just wasn’t my weekend. Up until this race weekend, we’ve been strong in all departments. Now we’ve been hit hard, but that’s motor racing for you. Considering where I started on the grid, P14 is an acceptable result. But I’m now looking forward to the Nürburgring where we intend to make it our weekend again.”
Goal not attained.
Maximilian Götz, P16: “I was actually quite happy with qualifying, but it’s obviously not nice to lose eight places in the race. I was in the Top Ten all weekend up until this race. Still, it was only in the second race that things didn’t go as I would have wished. I had to defend strongly to my rear and lost a lot of time as a consequence. Plus, I also got a penalty for a scrap with Mortara.
And so, unfortunately, I didn't attain my goal of a top-ten finish.”
Pace not good.
Gary Paffett, P18: “Today was very different to yesterday. We couldn’t get the car properly set up this morning for qualifying. I struggled to find grip and so, lacked the necessary pace. It’s then very difficult in the race when you then start from so far back down the field. I was bang in the middle, and my pace was still not particularly good. As I said, it was, unfortunately, the complete opposite of yesterday. Now we have to strike back at the Nürburgring.”
Paul Di Resta, P20: “That was a bit of a chaotic race. Our speed was good, but then there was the collision with Timo Glock. It was fifty fifty. He left the door open, I made my move, and he then promptly shut it. I couldn’t simply disappear into thin air. My race was over after that.
Too bad, because we had the speed for third place today.”
Felix Rosenqvist, P21: “My start was really good. It enabled me to gain several positions on the first lap. After that, I got stuck behind some other cars in the traffic, and unfortunately I was unable to get past them. Then someone overtook me and pushed me off the track. I picked up a lot of dirt on my tyres which meant that I subsequently lost a lot of positions. That finished me off. Hopefully, things will go better for me next time.”
Ulrich Fritz, Head of Mercedes-AMG DTM: “We expected more to be quite honest after qualifying, but it wasn’t easy for us today. I have to take my hat off to Robert. He turned in a strong performance by making it to the end of the race without power steering and secured vital points as a result. Whereas yesterday went really well for us, today was so disappointing.
Wichtig ist, dass wir in der Fahrerwertung den Abstand zur Spitze über das Wochenende verkürzen konnten.“